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What DOES google consider a link?
google inbound links
designhaus




msg:87341
 8:55 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Over the past 5 years I have had many an discussion with other webmasters over this topic. What exactly does google consider as a valid inbound link. If I think about my own personal site I have close on 100 links I know of pointing to the domain. Why then does google consider only 15 of them to be linking to me ... How are the judging what is considered to be a valid inbound link in their eyes?

 

tombola




msg:87342
 9:32 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

AFAIK, Google counts only sites with at least PR4, so sites with a PageRank of less than 4 don't show up as your backlinks in Google.
To see all links to your site, check Alltheweb.

For more information about Google, check also the Google News [webmasterworld.com] forum.

designhaus




msg:87343
 9:38 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK if that is the case then what is the difference between
link:www.widgets.com and ...
link: www.widgets.com

the space inbetween the link: and www.widgets.com makes alot of difference to what backlinks google sees.

Further to this does google look at the PR of the page linking to you or the site?

tombola




msg:87344
 10:00 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Further to this does google look at the PR of the page linking to you or the site?

Yes. My bad. Replace "sites" with "pages" in my previous post...

OK if that is the case then what is the difference between
link:www.widgets.com and ...
link: www.widgets.com

link:www.widgets.com shows links to www.widgets.com with PR4 and higher.

link: www.widgets.com shows pages that contain the terms "link:" and "www.widgets.com"

designhaus




msg:87345
 10:05 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ahhh now I have learnt something that has confused me for ages! Thanks very much Tombola

designhaus




msg:87346
 10:09 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

The other interesting thing I have noticed with Google is that it counts links within your site pointing back to the homepage as inbound links sometime .... have you noticed this Tombola .. any ideas why this happens or how?

tombola




msg:87347
 10:16 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

My guess: these pages have a PR4 or higher?

Like I said in my first post: if you want to find all sites (or better: all "pages") that link to your site, go to Alltheweb.

designhaus




msg:87348
 10:18 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tombola!

BigDave




msg:87349
 2:02 am on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google counts all <a href="page.html"> links. Whether they are internal or external. Whether they are above or below PR4.

They just do not show you all the links when you do a link: command. They do not even show all the links PR4 or above, and sometimes they will throw in some PR3s.

Link: is not meant to be a SEO tool, it is for the end users to try and find related sites that are linking to an interesting page.

Of course there are pages that do not pass on their PR, due to google filtering them out speciffically, but that is a different topic.

jmwebguy




msg:87350
 2:55 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

What BIGDAVE stated doesn't make any sense. I've read on this board and many others that you should do a LINK: command to get an idea of what Google has for you as far as links. SEO companies say to do it and so do "seo experts". So, to say it shouldn't be used for SEO help, I would disagree.

I found this post because I had the same question the original poster had. If you run one of the Link Popularity checkers I am found dozens of times for Yahoo, AlltheWeb, AltaVista, MSN, but 0 for Google.

My original question is this. Do images with links count as a link? For example a web design firm put a "powered by" logo and a link to their homepage. Does google count that as a link or only TEXT links?

tombola




msg:87351
 4:07 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

jmwebguy, I think you misunderstood the explanation of BigDave when he said: "Link: is not meant to be a SEO tool" ;-)

He's completely right:
link: www.example.com is bad syntax.

The correct way to find pages that link to www.example.com is using
link:www.example.com.

There may not be a space between "link:" and "www.example.com".

jmwebguy




msg:87352
 5:15 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tombola,
It seemed to me that he was stating that using the LINK: in general, with or without a space is not meant to be used as a SEO tool.

In any event, my questions still stand about using an inmage as a link. Is that okay, or must it be text to count as a link for PR.

chrisk999




msg:87353
 7:17 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can anyone confirm that there's no difference between a direct link off a 468x60 gif banner and a normal text link?

I have been wondering if Google counts a 468x60 image link as a purchased banner, and so doesn't transfer pagerank so readily.

Is this completely wrong?

BigDave




msg:87354
 7:53 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

jmwebguy said:
What BIGDAVE stated doesn't make any sense. I've read on this board and many others that you should do a LINK: command to get an idea of what Google has for you as far as links. SEO companies say to do it and so do "seo experts". So, to say it shouldn't be used for SEO help, I would disagree.

I think you need to reread what I said. I never claimed that it is not useful to use for SEO. I said that it was "not meant to be an SEO tool.

Link: is not meant to be a SEO tool, it is for the end users to try and find related sites that are linking to an interesting page.

It is like using a pair of vise-grips to hammer in a nail. It will work, but it is not what the tool was intended for. But if you do not have any other tool to hammer in that nail, you use the one that you have. And since google does not supply us with a hammer, we will use the vise-grips that they give us.

At no time in that post did I say that link: was not useful. It is. You just should not misunderstand the limits of it's usefulness.

If google were to only count PR4+ links in their algo (as opposed to showing them in link: ) then there would be virtually no PR1-PR2 pages. They would all jump from PR0 to PR3.

The fact is that Google looks for and counts the links coming in to a page before it knows what the PR of that page will end up. That is the progression of how they calculate PR. They make up the list of links after everything else is done.

As far as link: as an SEO tool (as well as all the allin: commands) you have to assume that google will slightly cripple them to keep you from being able to figure things out too well.

If you go to the Advanced Google Search Operator page, they say

link:

The query [link:] will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage. For instance, [link:www.google.com] will list webpages that have links pointing to the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the "link:" and the web page url.

They say "will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage", they do not say "will list all webpages ...". If it was intended to be an SEO tool it would list them all, and rank them in order of the PR passed or at least the PR of the page doing the linking.

Do you understand what I am saying now?

mopek




msg:87355
 10:37 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Question related to this topic:

Situation:

If I have 10 links pointing to my site from another domain...and all 10 links are on different pages (PR5) within this other domain, will google see it as 1 inbound link since it is from 1 domain or will google see it as 10 inbound links and give me a higher PR because of it.

Also, what about the same situation as above but instead of 10 links on different pages, they are on different domains... is that better?

thanks

mopek :)

SyntheticUpper




msg:87356
 10:58 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Mopek,

The PR algo smooths it out. I've got 500 links from a PR7 site - but obviously this doesn't give me a PR of 3500 (I wish!) It did, however, boost my PR by 1 point. But being a log scale, this is quite a significant PR boost if the value is already mid-range. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Google would prefer lower value links coming from a wide variety of sources - but of course this has caused the professional spammers to buy lots of sites and manufacture their own PR. I'd say that a handful of links from a PR 5 site is a nice measure of confidence - I'd be very pleased with it. Good luck - we need it these days :)

steveb




msg:87357
 11:09 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR is by page. Forget domains.

"Is this completely wrong?"

Links off banners transfer PR exactly like a text link.

jmwebguy




msg:87358
 12:44 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

First, thanks SteveB for answering my question. I asked if images that are linked to a domain are the same as text links. I appreciate the answer.

BigDave, I apologize for misunderstanding. I now understand what you are saying.

I still am perplexed though why Google shows 0 inbound links to my website, yet Yahoo, Alltheweb, MSN, etc show dozens. I am not trying to use Google as an SEO "tool", just trying to get an idea of what they see as my inbound links. Granted, I only have about 10-20 definite sites that link to me, and only 1 has a PR4, the other are PR3 or less, BUT shouldn't Google show something?

BrewCrue




msg:87359
 1:24 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

AFAIK, Google counts only sites with at least PR4, so sites with a PageRank of less than 4 don't show up as your backlinks in Google.

Hmmmm. I have 2 backlinks out of 21 that are pr0 and pr3 that google see's.

Can someone explain this?

Thank you
Brew

jimshu79




msg:87360
 2:45 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

i'm not sure about your last question either...google is pissing me off...

BigDave




msg:87361
 3:24 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmmmm. I have 2 backlinks out of 21 that are pr0 and pr3 that google see's.

First off, as far as I know, Google has never given out information on how they decide which links to list. The PR4 myth is only based on ancedotal evidence. Some months either my DMOZ link or my directory.google.com link will not show up, and they are both PR7. Lots of PR4 links never end up showing, but I regularly have PR3 links show up.

While it is probable that Google is using the PR of a page (or the amount of PR passed by a page) to select which links to show, it is almost certain that they do not come from the same dataset. If the toolbar PR data is uploaded a week before the backlinks are calculated, then the actual PR of that PR0 page might be a PR4 by the time it calculates the backlinks.

As for "why" they would show limited results instead of full results? Remember, this is a tool designed for surfers, and the surfer is likely to be more interested in the more important pages that link to the current page than they are in finding out about every little personal page that links to it. The authoritative sites that would provide additional information will have a high enough PR to show up.

steveb




msg:87362
 4:17 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

jmwebguy, Google often doesn't show backlinks for pages that are PR4 or less. You only have one PR4 link so you likely are PR3 or less. Likewise Google only seldom shows link.html type pages as backlinks. Sometimes they do, usually they don't. That might explain why the PR4 page doesn't show. It also matters how links are configured... javascript, adserver, etc. There is no cookie cutter answer but the "under PR4" thing is common.

nakulgoyal




msg:87363
 5:19 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would say all links do benefit irrespective of PR. Even a PR0 is known to Google and it's a different thing that Google doesnt show them using their links: command.

I have seen examples on the web which dont have even a single back link in Google and have a PR2. That may mean that that website has links which are PR3 or below and they pass the PR to get the page it's PR2 and still dont show anything using links:domain.com!

designhaus




msg:87364
 8:48 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

jmwebguy ... I agree with steveb, Images do get counted as links by google. I have found this out from first hand experience.

Hissingsid




msg:87365
 9:29 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Links off banners transfer PR exactly like a text link.

But text links are probably more valuable because they also have anchor text in them ;o)

How does PR affect crawling frequency and depth? Is this a domain or a page issue?

Sid

experienced




msg:87366
 9:56 am on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have one site contains pages 2000 approx. Rest of this one i have a number of sites. where i have a standard footor, inside the fottor i have a image linked to main site. and all of my sites shows more than 1500 backlinks from this main site. Then i think this theory is not working here.

Thanks
Exp...

designhaus




msg:87367
 4:55 pm on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hissingsid ... here is another can of worms to open completely. Google and anchor text, my personal feeling is Google may be penalising sites with heavey inbound anchor text links pointing to it ... How do you feel about this? Anybody else got any opinions on this subject ...

rfgdxm1




msg:87368
 12:42 am on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are certain kinds of links Google doesn't count. Guestbook links for one. I suspect that links posted in forums, if counted, are given very little weight.

coconutz




msg:87369
 12:41 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>They say "will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage", they do not say "will list all webpages ...".

Google Web Search Features

Who Links To You [google.com]

"Some words, when followed by a colon, have special meanings to Google. One such word for Google is the link: operator. The query link:siteURL shows you all the pages that point to that URL. For example, link:www.google.com will show you all the pages that point to Google's home page. You cannot combine a link: search with a regular keyword search."

Seems like they may have forgotten to update this page.

ntrance




msg:87370
 1:21 am on Feb 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Worth noting also that backlinks dont get updated every/day/week etc, so you might have a lot more links (or a lot less) at any given moment in time.

Strangely I seem to be in a weird situation with one site where I have almost 800 backlinks showing in Google, but in alltheweb I have only 6, altavista 10, etc. Very bizarre and I have no idea why.

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